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Ninja Gaiden Review

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Ninja Gaiden
Team Ninja
Winter 2003
Xbox Live:
Rating Pending to Mature

Ninja Gaiden 
Saturday, October 23, 2004 

What has this developer worked on before? Team Ninja has always produced fun, beautiful, and easy to pick up games. The team is headed by Tomonubo Itagaki, the brainchild of great games such as Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 2, and Dead or Alive 3.

Ninja Gaiden was taking quite a while to be reborn on the next generation consoles. It started out on the Dreamcast, and then moved onto the Playstation 2. Then it was moved again to its rightful home on the XBOX, and the results are very satisfying.


You take on the role of an ass kicking ninja named Ryu Hayabusa, whose clan has been slaughtered by a samurai named Doku. In the failed protection of the Dark Dragon Blade, the clan was supposed to protect for it had great power. Ryu embarks on a journey to find and kill Doku. While this is your typical "get revenge" story, the game is still fun to play through. The cut scenes that are provided tell the story very well. The gameís story tries to throw in plot twists throughout the game, but they are so predictable that when even some big revelation is made your jaw doesnít drop. I wonít spoil the whole entire story for you because quite honestly, even saying the slightest thing may ruin it for you.


This game is so fast and smooth, you won't believe your eyes the first time you lay your hands on it. This game is extremely fun for Ryu has a whole list of moves with every weapon he wields. And every player should practice learning these moves because this game is very difficult. The game is so fast for a reason, and that's because the enemies aren't there for you to cut up. The enemies in Ninja Gaiden really hate you and want you dead. Just like how you hate them and you want them dead, so the feeling is mutual. This game is very challenging and those without quick reflexes wonít enjoy getting their ass kicked in by a commando or demon within 15 seconds of fighting with them.

Ninja Gaidenís bosses provide the biggest challenge of the game, though. While the bosses are never cheap, they gradually get angrier as you deplete their health bars over time. The bosses then have to resort to more powerful attacks that will most definitely kill you if you donít know when to block or to attack. Stocking up for boss battles (or any battle with a common foe) is highly recommended for you will mostly get hit by these attacks if you havenít beaten the game for the first time not knowing a strategy to defeat them.

Ryu as well also has a variety of projectile and melee weapons (even some that are downloadable over Microsoftís Xbox Live service). The melee weapons Ryu can wield are the Dragon Blade, the Vigoorian Flail, Nunchaku, the Lunar (available through download on Xbox Live), the Dabilharo, a Warhammer, and a Soul Sucking sword. The projectile weapons that can be used are the shuriken, incendiary shuriken, Windmill Shuriken, as well as Bows. All these weapons can be upgraded for more powerful attacks as well as strength to defeat enemies with. These weapons are also used to solve a few puzzles that the game throws at you. Plus, you just look so cool carrying these awesome weapons on your back


Team Ninja has always made their games the most beautiful they can be, and Ninja Gaiden is by far the most stunning game theyíve ever made. The lighting in this game is amazing (for example, if youíre near the moon, you see its light shining on Ryuís body). The character models look great as well does the silky smooth animation in the game.

The environments are also beautiful as well. You can explore the environments and admire their beauty all while dicing and slicing enemies up. The environments are also very interactive for Ryu can run up or across walls to reach a higher ledge. There is no lack of imagination in this game visually, because every single thing you look at in Gaiden is beautiful.


The audio in Ninja Gaiden is also very well done. You can actually hear Ryu's weapons cutting a demon's limb, making every kill satisfying with a sense of realism. The music in Ninja Gaiden is excellent. Ninja Gaiden's music is made of orchestral, Japanese, and rock music. Listening to the music in this game overall is a pleasure to hear.

The voice acting in the game is well done. The voiceovers are well cast and each of them does a great job of bringing the characters to life. If you donít like hearing the English voiceovers, you have the option of switching to the Japanese voiceovers, which Iím sure some gamers may appreciate having that option.


Ninja Gaiden is very easy to control, which makes the game very accessible and fun. Here are the controls.

  • A: Jump, Running jump (tap A while running forward or backward), Jump attack (jump in the air while pressing the Y or X buttons)

  • B: Use projectile weapon (click left analog stick in to go into first person view for more precise aim using the bows)

  • X: Attack button

  • Y: Strong Attack (hold down Y button for charged, powerful attacks)

  • L Trigger: Block button, roll (roll around by holding the L Trigger and by moving the left analog stick to which direction you want to roll in.)

  • R Trigger: Control camera (control camera by tapping R to view the direction of where Ryu is facing)

  • White button: View stats (press the white button to view total points youíve earned in the game as well as the time limit for a battle to earn extra points)


    Team Ninja should be applauded in the creation of this great game that has well been worth the wait. Ninja Gaiden is an ultimately great game that has a lot of replay value (earning unlockable items) and challenge. Warning to those who are not ready for a really challenging game, do not purchase Ninja Gaiden before you try it. This is one of the hardest games if not the hardest game Iíve played all year, but the game is rewarding in offering one of the greatest gaming experiences of all time.

    Overall Score

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